It was originally reported that Ansah would not be with the Lions for voluntary workouts in April while he attends to a family obligation in Ghana, but with the defensive end returning home Monday, he'll be able to make things official with the Lions. Ansah was never expected to negotiated a long-term deal with Detroit, but signing the tag Tuesday will make that official. It also would appear that Ansah is very close to a full recovery from minor knee surgery that he underwent a little over a week ago, but an update on that should come with more details after team workouts.
Ansah underwent minor clean-up surgery on his knee this offseason, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports.
It isn't clear when this procedure took place, but it likely had something to do with the knee injury that caused Ansah to be a weekly sighting on the injury report for the majority of the 2017 season. There's been no indication that the defensive end is still in recovery, though we won't know for sure until later this spring, as Ansah won't be in attendance for April's voluntary workouts due to a family obligation back home in Ghana, per Justin Rogers of the Detroit News.
Ansah, who received the franchise tag from Detroit last month, has yet to sign his contract tender but is expected to do so before training camp, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports.
Ansah is seeking a hefty long-term contract after racking up 44 sacks through his first five seasons in the league. It's unlikely he reports to voluntary offseason workouts next month, but Ansah at least seems willing to play out the 2018 season under the franchise tag, which will net him over $17 million. In fact, general manager Bob Quinn said at this week's league meetings that Ansah hasn't given the team any inclination that he plans on holding out in hopes of leveraging a new deal. The two sides still have until July 16 to work something out.
Ansah is coming off a productive contract year where he recorded 44 tackles, 12 sacks and a forced fumble in what was a bounce-back season after a rough 2016 campaign. Ansah's inconsistency, however, on a week-to-week basis apparently left Detroit uneasy about committing any long-term money to the defensive end. If Ansah is ultimately unable to come to terms with the Lions on an extension and accepts the tag, there's a strong possibility that the defensive end would be entering his last season in Detroit.
Ansah recorded 44 tackles, 12 sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery across 14 games in 2017.
Missing only two games all year, Ansah battled through a host of injuries to log the second-highest sack total of his five-year career -- which could lead to a big payday since he was playing in a contract year. However, his performance on a week-to-week basis was inconsistent at best, as nine of his sacks came in three games. Furthermore, his 19 quarterback hurries only ranks 34th leaguewide and just third on his own team. The 28-year-old Ansah is now set to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the league year, though it's possible the Lions place the franchise or transition tag on him if the two sides can't agree on a contract extension.
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